Is It Already Lent Again?
Can I just say that Ash Wednesday and Good Friday fasting is HARD? I know it’s wonderful for our souls and draws us to the passion and death of Our Lord, but fasting for me is torture. Each year, I wish I was pregnant or over the age of 62, so I could skip it, so far no luck. So this year, but I’m going to try a new approach to the fasting days. I’m going to get excited about them. I’m going to pick one person that I’ll be offering up my partial meal for and will pray, for them when I’m tempted to whine about the lack of food in my body.
I wasn’t raised Catholic, but I participated in my first Lent during my freshman or sophomore year in college. It’s too long ago to remember correctly. I’d been going to Mass with a group of my college dorm friends and they were all getting ready for Lent. They talked about giving up chocolate and soda. I loved sweets and the dorm cafeteria was full of them, so I decided to give up desserts. I remember one lunch when I packed a sack lunch for the day; it wasn’t until I was sitting in class eating my animal crackers that I realized those were a sweet and not crackers. Looking back now, I laugh at how particular I was being. I remember going to mass on Ash Wednesday and telling the Lord, “Ok, it’s you and me this year, I’m going to need you to do this.”
I’ve celebrated Lent a total of 18 or 19 times and every year I panic as the season begins to approach. What am I going to give up this year? Will it be good enough? Am I picking a hard enough thing to give up? How am I going to grow closer to God? My first question should be what is God calling me to give up, but as you can tell, I’m still working on thinking of that first.
One year I gave up chocolate, and since it causes migraines anyway, I never went back to eating it. Another year I gave up listening to the radio during my 30-minute commute. This was hard, but I realized how much peace and rejuvenation came from the silence. I returned to the radio after Lent, and then the next Lent decided to only listen to Christian music. That habit has stuck, and I rarely listen to anything.
Over the years, I’ve googled “what to give up for Lent.” There are so many lists out there, but for me, it’s always a matter of finding something that is pertinent to where I am in life and in my spiritual journey. This year, a girlfriend of mine handed me a worksheet. This has great ideas, but I always like that it has a spot where you can write what you’re giving up. It makes it feel “official,” to me. Here is the link to find the worksheet for yourself. https://aleteiaen.files.wordpress.com/2015/02/Lent-is-coming.jpg?quality=100&strip=all
This year, one of the things I’m working on, is trying to stay on a schedule of going to bed at the same time each night and rising at the same time each morning. My body needs it and my spiritual life needs it so that I can have private prayer time in the morning. I feel like I’m already looking forward to sleeping in on Sunday mornings. Scheduling my day is possible because my kids are bigger and don’t need me first thing in the morning. If you’re not in that stage, I encourage you to find something to work on during Lent that is doable for your stage in life.
One Lenten program I want to suggest to all of you is Dynamic Catholic’s Best Lent Ever video series. Some of you may be familiar with it from Advent or Lent last year. It’s easy to sign up, and each day you get a video in your email inbox that is encouraging and educational. I have loved getting the daily videos in the past, and find that it is a great way to start my day each morning. I miss the videos once we’re back in Ordinary Time! Here's the link to sign up for The Best Lent Ever: https://dynamiccatholic.com/best-lent-ever
We’re in this season together, as a Catholic Church, as a group of women, and as mothers. We at A Mom Revolution, would love to journey together with you during lent. Share your journey with us!
Copyright 2019 Courtney Vallejo. All Rights Reserved.
Image Credit Copyright 2019 Courtney Vallejo All Rights Reserved